EURO 2016 DRAW Q&A: What Ireland fans need to know
Ireland fans are eagerly awaiting tonight's draw for Euro 2016. Here are some things you have to know.
When is the draw?
It takes place at 5.0 Irish time in the Palais De Congres in Paris but the pomp and ceremony of these events mean that it will be over an hour before the entire draw is completed.
What is the format?
UEFA have already devised a schedule for the competition and draw will simply see the competitors taking the spots for team B1, B2, B3, B4 and so on. The first element will involve the top seeds being drawn out and assigned to six groups – the hosts France are assigned to Group A.
What about Ireland?
The bottom seeds will be drawn out next so Ireland will immediately know which top seed they’ll encounter. However, while the top seeds will be assigned to position A1, B1, C1, D1, E1 and F1 in their respective groups, it will be different for the others. When Ireland are drawn out, there will be a secondary draw to determine their position in the group. For example, if Ireland are assigned to Group B, the secondary draw will sort out of they take position B2, B3 or B4. After the teams in Pot 4 are allocated, Pot 3 will be next and then Pot 4.
So Ireland will know their schedule straight away?
Yes. So flights to the various destinations will immediately shoot up. 80,000 tickets go on sale on Monday, with fans applying through UEFA’s ticket portal. It includes options for single matches and also the ‘follow my team’ route which includes conditional tickets for knock-out encounters.
Can Ireland play two games in the same city?
The odds are weighted against that scenario. Just two teams in the competition will have a pair of games in the same city – which is Paris because it has two different venues. One country in Group A will play their opening two games in the capital, including the curtain-raiser with hosts at Stade de France. Meanwhile, one country in Group F will also finish their group stage with two games in Paris. Everyone else will take in three cities.